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The Return of the Native

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3.85  ·  Rating details ·  32,052 ratings  ·  1,317 reviews
Tempestuous Eustacia Vye passes her days dreaming of passionate love and the escape it may bring from the small community of Egdon Heath. Hearing that Clym Yeobright is to return from Paris, she sets her heart on marrying him, believing that through him she can leave rural life and find fulfilment elsewhere. But she is to be disappointed, for Clym has dreams of his own, an ...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published February 13th 2001 by Modern Library (first published 1878)
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Peyton Banks The first 50 pages are incredibly slow, but then it picks up the pace a little.It is still a rather slow novel though.

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3.85  · 
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 ·  32,052 ratings  ·  1,317 reviews


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Jeffrey Keeten
Aug 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
”I read a lot of classical books like The Return of the Native and all, and I like them,” says Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye. “I like that Eustacia Vye.”

EustaciaVye_zpsfe68289c
Catherine Zeta Jones as Eustacia Vye

Eustacia Vye is a young maid filled with longing for the city of Paris, for new experiences,fresh sights, sounds that have never rang her ears before, and a lover to fill her heart with dewy-eyed passion. She lives on the moors of Wessex in the midst of a small collection of dwellings called Egdo
...more
Henry Avila
Mar 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Can you go home again? Thomas Hardy asks that simple question in his magnificent novel, The Return of the Native...written in 1878...set in a vast sparsely populated land in rural England called Edgon Heath. Rolling hills, the quiet grasslands and small but valuable shrubs, the furze bush .. empty except for isolated cottages, little hamlets and people struggling to survive the harsh conditions in the valley's meager farms and their loneliness. The native coming back is Mr.Clement (Clym) Yeobrig ...more
Paul Bryant
Mar 06, 2008 marked it as probably-never
From one of Monty Python's albums:

Commentator: Hello, and welcome to Dorchester, where a very good crowd has turned out to watch local boy Thomas Hardy write his new novel "The Return Of The Native", on this very pleasant July morning. This will be his eleventh novel and the fifth of the very popular Wessex novels, and here he comes! Here comes Hardy, walking out towards his desk. He looks confident, he looks relaxed, very much the man in form, as he acknowledges this very good natured bank holi
...more
James
Book Review
5 out of 5 stars to The Return of the Native, a novel written by Thomas Hardy, first published in 1878 and subsequently re-issued a few times with additional revisions. It's rare for me to give out a full 5 stars, but this book will always hold an extreme and special place in my heart. It was the start of my adoration of the English countryside. It was a true story of love, life and reality. Watching the drama unfold over the years, chapter by chapter, was phenomenal. I was there
...more
Alex
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
To understand how radical Thomas Hardy is, we could start with how radical the rest of his century wasn't. For most of the 1800s, novels were basically maiden aunts yelling at you about your skirt length. They had a job: they were to demonstrate proper behavior. Their good characters were rewarded; their bad characters were punished. Even the best of them - Austen and Dickens - encouraged conformity. They're coercive.

This is lame, obviously, and some authors were like "That's not how shit is at
...more
Jeff
Jan 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brit-lit
4.5 stars

This is a story about misunderstanding, not getting the facts straight and the dangers of presumptuousness. Here romance rings hollow and family is a source of strife rather than security.

Although the plot borders on Lifetime channel fare and the dialogue can sometimes be overwrought, it’s Hardy’s descriptive powers that also make this a great read. He describes the heath, the wind, fire light dancing on people’s faces, a storm, an eclipse, all revealing the power and beauty of the Engl
...more
Kim
Aug 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I have spent the last thirty five years convinced that I do not like Thomas Hardy. I know how it happened. Reading Tess of the D'Urbervilles when I was in high school and again at university made a lasting - and a negative - impression on me. Admittedly, I went on to read Jude the Obscure and Far from the Madding Crowd, also while I was at university, and quite liked both novels. Notwithstanding this, my dislike of Tess overshadowed whatever appreciation for Hardy's work I might otherwise have d
...more
Apatt
Dec 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
“Hurt so good
Come on baby, make it hurt so good”

- John Mellencamp

WUT? Well, reading Thomas Hardy novels always poses this kind of challenge. They hurt, and yet I keep coming back to him because they are indeed good and this kind of hurt is like a good exercise for your EQ. In term of language, I don’t think Hardy’s writing is particularly difficult to access. The more challenging aspects of his books are the initial meticulous scene setting and characters introduction chapters and, of course, t
...more
Perry
Feb 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: libri-classici
"Harsh Heath" Hardy -- Best in Nature as Supporting Character

In this 1878 novel, Hardy heaves readers right into the gloomy Egdon Heath, in southern England, to witness the inception of coming tragedies involving the heath's inhabitants. Hardy did not draw his Egdon Heath as darkly as the Bronte sisters portrayed their Cimmerian heaths in the classic novels, Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. Hardy was more masterful and subtle in this novel.

His exquisite approach to creating this authentic and an
...more
Trish
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy many classic authors, chief amongst them Jane Austen. It is a truth universally acknowledged that she parodied the people and books of her time in order to criticize society. Now I know why. ;)

Thomas Hardy is one of those names almost everyone has heard before. Doesn't mean all people who recognize the name have also read one of his books. Shamefully, I have to admit that while I had heard the name, I had never read anything by him either. Thus, in our quest to completely drown me in mon
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
839. Return of the Native, Thomas Hardy
The Return of the Native is Thomas Hardy's sixth published novel. It first appeared in the magazine Belgravia, a publication known for its sensationalism, and was presented in twelve monthly installments from January to December 1878.
The novel takes place entirely in the environs of Egdon Heath, and, with the exception of the epilogue, Aftercourses, covers exactly a year and a day. The narrative begins on the evening of Guy Fawkes Night as Diggory Venn is
...more
J
Jan 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
There used to be a lot more words in the world. Now we're all about short, blunt sentences. So obvious. So boring.
Safa Fatima
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, favorites
So, what do I say about this extraordinary novel. I have a feeling this is going to turn into a story.

I'd like to begin by saying that this was my Mother's. Previously, I have read Tess of the D'Urbervilles (also because of my mom who narrated it to me when I was younger) by Hardy and I was bewitched by his picturesque poetic prose, and I have Far from the Madding Crowd waiting on my shelf (I watched the movie with my mom).

I love Classics, my love for them is unbounded. ❤

So, about The Return of
...more
MJ Nicholls
Hardy’s paean to the doom-laden Dorset hills, featuring more wuthering heights than boatload of Brontës, an epic tragic crescendo, and a feisty heroine lassoed into a straightjacket of Victorian sexual conventions. The stars of this novel are the roiling word-sculptures of tumult Hardy makes from the unforgiving Wessex hills and peaks, that occupy the first quarter of the novel, ahead of the protagonist’s tardy arrival. Clym Yeobright, neither young nor that bright, bags the ravenous stunner Eus ...more
BrokenTune
Jan 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
"What depressed you?"
"Life."


This sums up every Thomas Hardy novel I have ever read.

However, and this may shock and surprise you, ... I really liked this one. In contrast to Tess of the D'Urbervilles or Far from the Madding Crowd, I did not get exasperated with the characters, did not want to slap them or root for the sheep to turn into man-eating overlords - even though I still think that this would have made a better plot than what Far from the Madding Crowd had to offer.

The Return of the Nati
...more
BAM The Bibliomaniac
Alan Rickman narrates
'Nuf said

Audio #89

I am so enamored with Rickman’s voice he might as well be reading the phone book. He’s beautiful. I actually swooned when the story began, I have never swooned.

So when it comes down to it Rickman was just an added bonus! I'm never disappointed in a Thomas Hardy story. This was stupendous
Bradley
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
My very first Hardy. I've always had this impression of Hardy but I've never had an actual OCCASION to actually read him!

Naturally, I have been mortified at my neglect. So many people have been required to read his works and yet I have gracelessly skipped on by. For shame!

So what do I think of this Master of the English Novel?


OMG he writes such TORRID SOAP OPERAS!

I mean, let me be clear here: his writing from the very first passages was GORGEOUS, flowing, evocative, and darkly humorous. And tha
...more
Chrissie
The story is set in Victorian England on Egdon Heath, a fictional place in the fictional region of Wessex in southwestern England. It focuses on six individuals--two cousins (Clym Yeobright and Thomasin Yeobright), Mrs. Yeobright (the mother of Clym and the aunt of Thomasin) and those whom Clym and Thomasin might marry (Eustacia Vye, Damon Wildeve and Digory Venn). The question asked is who will marry whom. Will marriage bring happiness? Can one, should one struggle against one’s inner desires, ...more
Frank
Jun 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I kept falling asleep at the beginning of this book. Finally I gave up. I mentioned to my friend Rich that I'd stalled out, and he quoted his high school English teacher, whose words predicted Rich's own experience of the novel: "For the first fifty pages, we would think Return of the N the worst book we had ever read and after that it would seem the best book we had ever read." So I pressed on, and sure enough, around page fifty the book grabbed me and didn't let go till I finished.

One of the
...more
Jan-Maat
The setting of this book gives it an even more isolated feel than other Hardy novels as though the small communities making a living gathering sedge were cut off even from the rest of rural Wessex. The whole business of sedge cutting adds tragedy which maybe Hardy hadn't intended, for us this is a vanished world, such landscapes have been either transformed or abandoned, they haven't survived, as human landscapes employing hundreds working with hand tools.

For the modern reader then there is a fi
...more
Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.)
Every once in a great while you read a novel that just knocks you back onto your keister. Well, for me, this was just one of those novels. I finished reading Thomas Hardy's The Return of the Native several days ago, and it made such an impression upon me that I turned to page one, and began it all over again! The first impression? Wow! Upon finishing it for the second time? I concur with the first impression.

This is the fourth in Hardy's series of eight 'Wessex' novels, all being set in his nati
...more
Sara
May 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Lovers of Classics
Hardy at his best. First tier in storytelling, character development, and use of language and description. It is like being served a feast to listen to Hardy entone over the features of the heath. The wet young beeches were undergoing amputations, bruises, cripplings, and harsh lacertations, from which the wasting sap would bleed for many a day to come, and which would leave scars visible till the day of their burning. Each stem was wrenched at the root, where it moved like a bone in its socket, ...more
Gary  the Bookworm
Aug 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

The hypnotic power of The Return of the Native can't be overstated. Everyone seems under some sort of spell. But the passions of the characters are secondary to the magnitude and majesty of the rugged heath they inhabit. Those who embrace their surroundings and give in to their circumstances may find some level of peace, but woe be to those who resist. The native in the title is Clym Yeobright, who returns to his mother's home, ominously named Blooms-End, after an extended absence. He wants to
...more
Sundry
Sep 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Good medicine. I hated this book when I had to read it in high school. Maybe because I’d assumed from the title that it was going to be about American Indians. (In my defense, I’d been forced to read The Last of the Mohicans the previous year, and may have thought high school literature was all about the aboriginals.) Maybe because the entire first chapter is a description of Egdon Heath; one that still elicited a groan from me when I started listening to the audiobook a few weeks ago.

This is th
...more
TheSkepticalReader
4.5 stars

I need more Hardy.

Sure, the man has the ability to rip out my heart and shove it into my palm. But damn. He does it with such elegance, it’s hard to mind.

The Return of the Native is a tale of various individuals struggling to deal with their decisions, and ultimately their fates. We have Thomasin, who we deceptively begin with as the main protagonist; Wildeve, her fiancé and the literal ‘bad boy’ of the story; Clym, the “native,”; and Eustacia, the dark-haired heroine who is barred of a
...more
Pink
Oct 02, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hardy, hardy, hardy. Oh I'm not sure what to make of you. Sometimes you waffle on and on and after half a page I find myself thinking, what on earth are you going on about. Then you start talking about love, or heartbreak and I find myself moving in to listen closer, waiting with baited breath to find out what's coming next. I know there won't be rainbows and butterflies, but I like the bleakness. It's expected and yet gut wrenching when it hits. I'm looking forward to your next devastating stor ...more
Jen Padgett Bohle
"Just a small town girl, livin' in a lonely world. She took the midnight train goin' anywhere..."
Yep, Journey and Thomas Hardy DO have something in common: They both understand a woman's intense yearnings for something beyond small town life.

The best advice I can give to any would-be readers of Return of the Native is to stay with this tale; it gets better and better. In all honesty, one could probably skip the first 3 chapters (roughly 40 pages) and not miss much . I love Hardy's imagery and d
...more
Nicola
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1001-books
I was told once that I should read Far from the Madding Crowd because it was that rarest of rare beasts; a cheerful Hardy novel.

After having finished the aforementioned book I could only say that my definition of what constituted a cheerful novel was clearly wildly different to theirs. The most uplifting thing that could really be said about it was that not everybody died and some of the characters got what could considered a 'happy ending' if you could look past all of the tragic events which l
...more
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Which Thomas Hardy book to start with? 3 11 Jul 20, 2018 07:44PM  

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3,986 followers
Thomas Hardy, OM, was an English author of the naturalist movement, although in several poems he displays elements of the previous romantic and enlightenment periods of literature, such as his fascination with the supernatural. He regarded himself primarily as a poet and composed novels mainly for financial gain. The bulk of his work, set mainly in the semi-fictional land of Wessex, delineates cha ...more
“Why is it that a woman can see from a distance what a man cannot see close?” 286 likes
“Backlock, a poet blind from his birth, could describe visual objects with accuracy; Professor Sanderson, who was also blind, gave excellent lectures on color, and taught others the theory of ideas which they had and he had not. In the social sphere these gifted ones are mostly women; they can watch a world which they never saw, and estimate forces of which they have only heard. We call it intuition.” 72 likes
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